The C word. A word considered taboo to most people; something to be scared of – said under hushed tones by people thinking “It’ll never happen to my family.” Yet, it does.
Cancer is said to effect 1 in 4 of us; I disagree. Cancer effects 1 in 1 of us. We all know someone who has been treated for or touched by cancer.
In 2002, when I was eight, my dad, 39, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and, if not treated with the right medication, he was given just 10 years to live. After being accepted onto a new trial drug, STI 571 (now known as Glivec or imatinib) his body took positively to it. He has been in remission since and has raised close to £50,000 for various leukaemia charities, including Leukaemia Care. My dad is the strongest person I know and my biggest inspiration. He pushes my brother and I to be the best versions of ourselves; teaches us what it means to be compassionate and has never once doubted our dreams.
That is exactly why I chose to enter Miss England. Pageants have had a stigma against them, but any negative assumptions about them couldn’t be further from the truth. Miss England showcases women with inspiring stories. I entered Miss England to stand up and use my voice for those who can’t. I want to raise awareness and encourage others to find their strength, to take note of anything happening with their body that isn’t usual, and encourage others to show support. It’s okay to not feel okay and ask for help. My efforts in supporting Leukaemia Care and other cancer charities have included: organising Performance Evenings, where local talent have the opportunity to showcase themselves to the public and all proceeds are donated; donations from The Walt Disney Company in toys and books, which I then take to the children’s cancer wards; a GoFundMe page set up for Leukaemia Care and Miss England’s charities – Beauty With A Purpose and The Sunshine Fund; and continuously fundraising with my family.So, let’s start to think of the C word as something good: care. After all, that’s what Leukaemia Care do.
A word from Angie Beasley, Director of Miss England Limited
For many years, through my business Miss England Limited, I have always raised money for various causes.
At least £1,000,000 has been raised across the UK which has funded a wonderful variety of causes such as a holiday homes for disadvantaged families in Torquay, specially adapted coaches and wheelchairs for the disabled and many Variety Sunshine coaches and, more recently, a horse for the Riding for the Disabled school in Derbyshire.
My focus in 2015 went towards cancer charities specifically because my son’s father developed acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). It was shocking to see the effect of this terrible illness so quickly take hold of someone so close.
Sadly, John at the age of 54 lost his battle with the disease a week before my son’s 18th birthday.
During John’s time of treatment, we did all we could to raise money for cancer charities. A friend who wanted to help even managed to get sponsored TVs for all the cancer patients at Leicester Royal Infirmary, a small thing but another sign of people’s generosity towards a cause when you feel helpless like I did at the time.
As much research as possible really needs to go into the battle against any of type of cancer as too many people are being taken away too young.
Over the last three years, two cancer charities, including Hope Against Cancer who have a research centre here in Leicester, have worked together with the Miss England contest and between us we have raised a lot of money and awareness and we continue to do so.
To find out more about the Miss England contest, head to: https://www.missengland.info/
If you’d like to donate to Domenique’s fundraising, click here.
Photo above: Domenique Fragale and her father, Amerigo Fragale